If one's flavor of Judaism incorporates a belief that is frowned upon by our misguided secular society and he is questioned on that matter, is he permitted, forbidden, or obligated to deny that he believes that?

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    Context, please? Are you shmoozing about the weather, discussing beliefs, risk losing your job or about to killed because of your beliefs? I suspect it would change the answer. Nov 16, 2015 at 10:35
  • Re: Yam shel Shlom0, academia.edu/15174072/…
    – wfb
    Nov 16, 2015 at 15:24
  • The specific context concerned that haredi guy who stabbed some teenagers at a pro gay rally in Israel a few months ago. A prominent rabbi (Jonathan Sacks) wrote that Judaism unequivocally condemns this sort of behavior. I considered the matter and, recalling what I was taught about Pinchas' zealotry, realized that Judaism 's view of this behavior was not unequivocal. If asked my opinion on the matter, am I obligated to misstate what I believe is the truth to make Judaism seem more progressive than I think it is. Nov 16, 2015 at 17:38
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    @ClintEastwood if you're interested in teaching incendiary ideas like that in public, I would strongly recommend that you first make very sure of both the accuracy and precision of what you're saying and what it's based on, and make very sure that in the course of saying it, you don't accidentally also give any false impressions to the person you're talking to.
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 16, 2015 at 18:48
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    That's your question in this post. I'm saying that assuming the answer is "permitted," or even "obligated" you'd better go about it very carefully. You may be 100% confident in what you've learned, but if you're not careful, the person you're talking to may end up hearing something different from what you've learned, different from what you've said. "Scholars, be careful with your words!" - Avtalyon, in Avot 1:11
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 16, 2015 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


Everything in the Torah has context and meaning. Often when something in Judaism is portrayed in a negative way it is a result of not really understanding what the Torah is saying. This is often as a result of something similar in another religion but enforced for a different reason.

For example in Islam the reason women must cover themselves up is b/c men can't control themselves and might be cause to rape them or think impure thoughts. At one point in America it was acceptable to think concern a woman who was sexually assaulted to say well look what she was wearing she was asking for it.

In Judaism the reason for modesty has nothing to do with the behavior of men who act badly but about the holiness associated with the behavior of being modest and having an internal connection to Gd. A big aspect of how women serve G-d according to Torah is from a deeper more internal way. This is unlike men who need to have outward signs such as a yarmulka (yire malka the fear of the king, tzitzis, tefillin, etc)

Rather than deny something in the Torah, there is an opportunity to correct a mistaken opinion causing a kiddush Hashem and "is honorable to himself and brings him honor from man" (P.A. ch 2 paragraph 1)

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    This answer would make a much greater kiddush Hashem if it included a source for its assertion about the real and exclusive purpose of modesty of dress in Judaism as well as, lehavdil, for its assertion about the real and exclusive purpose of this practice in Islam.
    – Isaac Moses
    Nov 16, 2015 at 16:28
  • Abraham is a good example of someone who went against the culture. be true just be smart. dont want to get yourself killed
    – ray
    Nov 17, 2015 at 6:41

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